A joint SA Rugby committee has been appointed to intervene in Western Province’s affairs to assess if any ‘reckless decisions and spending’ have been made.
According to various reports, the committee – made up of three members from SA Rugby and three WP representatives – has taken over the management of the union amid its ongoing financial crisis.
‘It was discussed in a General Council meeting this past Monday,’ WP president Zelt Marais told Rugby365.
‘It is collaborative management between WPPR, WPRFU and Saru.
‘It is mainly as a result of the Covid-19 devastation on all franchises, in that fans are not allowed into stadia.’
SA Rugby’s intervention follows after 15 of WP’s Premier League clubs laid a formal complaint about the problems at the union, one of which they believe is financial mismanagement.
Exorbitant contract offers to professional players are reportedly one of the problems at the heart of the looming financial crisis.
According to Rapport, the Cape union forked out about R1.4 million per annum more than the Bulls offered to sign Damian Willemse.
The article in the Sunday newspaper states that the Bulls tabled a R3.8m (R316,000 per month) offer to Willemse, but WP’s more lucrative counter-offer of R4.8m in the first year, R5.2m in the second year and R5.6m in the third year had the utility back agree to stay in Cape Town for the next three years.
It is believed the union refused to hand over its bank statements and bond documents upon request and that was what sparked SA Rugby to take action.
The committee will now launch an investigation to determine whether there were any irregular expenditures made by the union’s business wing.
The investigation will also look into WP’s failed business deal with Investec, the ongoing saga with Flyt Property Development which could have the union losing all 11 of its properties, and the in-fighting between the higher-ups within the union which led to the resignation of six directors so far.
SA Rugby president Mark Alexander declined to comment on the matter.
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